Jan Davis – Recounting Democracy (2013)
Recounting Democracy (2013)
image to come
Who says Democracy does not count! The first iteration this artist book Democracy Counts sold out during the 2012 exhibition Lessons in History Vol. II – Democracy, and Davis was persuaded to produce a new version. Recounting Democracy is identical to Democracy Counts except the cover is stamped with text and the inclusion of a map of Australia which, something like the boards in a tally room on voting night, shows the ebb and flow of votes.
Recounting Democracy again reflects on the electoral system which makes a parliament accountable to the people. Small watercolour marks represent a vote for different parties. Each vote has been meticulously numbered in graphite pencil. The votes accumulate as the reader proceeds through the thirty-two pages of the book, until the total number is determined for each party and translated into seats in parliament. Each book in the edition has a slightly different outcome.
As she painted votes and drew numbers under them (many thousands during the production of the editions), Davis thought about the contribution to democracy that each person makes as they enter a voting booth and mark their electoral paper with those finely-sharpened, but rather short graphite pencils provided by the Australian Electoral Commission.
Tucked inside the back cover is a photograph the artist took on the streets of Paris during the 2012 French Presidential election, a comic reminder that not everyone believes in the power of the vote.
Red, blue, and green, watercolour dots, cumulatively numbered below, represent votes cast. Softbound red cover stamped RECOUNTING, stitched, with pocket in back cover containing a photograph. Watercolour, graphite pencil with stamping on 100 gsm ivory Freelife vellum. 20 x 30 cm. 32 pp. 5 variable artist books.
Published by the artist.
grahame galleries + editions (stockroom)
2015 Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, Artists’ Books from the Centre for Artists’ Book
Centre for Artist Book
AGNSW Research Library